Trump casts N. Korea summit as ‘one-time shot’ for Kim
President Donald Trump cast his Tuesday summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as a “one-time shot” for the autocratic leader to ditch his nuclear weapons and enter the community of nations, saying he would know within moments if Kim is serious about the talks.
Trump said Saturday he was embarking on a “mission of peace,” as he departed the Group of Seven meeting in Canada to fly to the summit site in Singapore. Saying he has a “clear objective in mind” to convince Kim to abandon his nuclear program in exchange for unspecified “protections” from the U.S., Trump acknowledged that the direction of the high-stakes meeting is unpredictable, adding it “will always be spur of the moment.”
“It’s unknown territory in the truest sense, but I really feel confident,” he told reporters. “I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people, and he has that opportunity, and he won’t have that opportunity again.”
“It’s a one-time shot, and I think it’s going to work out very well,” he said.
The meeting will be the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. Unlike traditional summits between heads of state, where most of the work is completed in advance of a photo-op, U.S. officials say the only thing certain ahead of these talks will be their unpredictability.
Raising expectations in advance of the meeting, Trump said the outcome will rely heavily on his own instincts. The U.S. president, who prides himself on his deal-making prowess, said he will know “within the first minute” of meeting Kim whether the North Korean leader is serious about the nuclear negotiations.
The Kim sit-down comes as Trump’s international negotiating skills have faced their toughest tests to date with mixed results. Tensions flared at the G-7 summit between Trump and U.S. allies over his protectionist economic policies and decisions to exit the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord.
Trump rated his relationships with U.S. partners as “a 10,” though erstwhile allies spent much of the weekend directly challenging Trump’s policy positions.